Infestations & Negotiations
To the colony of mould upon my windowsill:
Show me just the slightest mark
Of sentience, a crucial spark
To show you’re rising from the dark,
Some gesture or some tiny act of will;
Show me that you are aware
And truly, shall I gladly spare
Your thinking self – it’s only fair
To leave you be, and curb my urge to kill.
It’s not your fault, of course, I know,
We cannot help the way we grow.
So demonstrate it can be so
With some discrete communiqué or skill.
But otherwise, I hereby state
I shall not balk, nor hesitate
To bring about your speedy fate,
And wipe you out from ev’ry crack you fill.
And with my conscience duly sated,
And my fears for health abated –
Now it’s time I contemplated
How to shift the mice behind the pepper mill.
I hear them scritching in their horde,
In cupboards and the skirting-board.
They cannot longer be ignored:
Their squeaks ring from the ventilation grille.
So rodents, let us parley, please:
I cannot have you stealing cheese,
Nor plaguing with your crop of fleas;
And yet, I hope we can co-habit still.
But only if you’re duly smart
To learn of hygiene – for a start –
And keep your soil well set apart
From places where it could pollute or spill.
And finally, let’s have agreed
A limit to how much you breed,
And maybe we can yet succeed
To forge a truce – forever and until.
But if you cannot learn the score
Then we, alas, must be at war
And if you doubt my lust for gore,
Just ask the mould no longer on my windowsill.